While there are many BMX racers who strive to reach their next goal, prepare to be the next World or Olympic champion, many fall short, only to be left heart broken, in despair, shattered beyond words. It’s a harsh reality, only very few can reach those lofty heights that the likes of Sam Willoughby, Maris Strombergs, Caroline Buchanan, Mariana Pajon and hundreds of others make look so easy. Unfortunately very few can make a living out of a sport that’s so easy to be passionate about.
But all the blood, sweat and tears isn’t for everyone. BMX racing isn’t all about winning, it never has been. I doubt you can name one person who started to race BMX because they thought they could easily win. Generally we get involved because it looks like a lot of fun…and well…it really is.
Even for me, even after nearly 35 years of destroying my body pounding it into the ground repeatedly trying to send it and coming up short. Even after causing myself many injuries that will be constant little nagging reminders (for the rest of my life) that I hurt myself, and continued to do it over and over again for the sport I love so much.
I’ve reached a point where none of that matters anymore…I’m not saying I’m about to throw it all in, far from it. I still love it, probably more than ever, but at a different level. My goals have changed from wanting to be the best rider in my age bracket to wanting to be healthy to ride week in week out. I race only if and when I want to, but I’m probably always riding. I don’t have any vices, well not in the traditional sense, I jokingly tell people that BMX is my vice, but only BMXers seem to get it. I get a lot of enjoyment out of riding probably the same level as someone doing yoga, Tai Chi, the gardening, playing an instrument, going to the movies, maybe even having a couple of drinks at the local pub…I’m sure you get the picture. As an extension to that I’ve been lucky to by enough property to have a backyard track that I ride more than anywhere else. Whether I’m swinging a shovel for hours on end shaping a new jump, or corner, or falling flat on my face trying the new jump out, it’s all very relaxing. It’s a good time to clear my head, have a few laughs with friends, and just enjoy the time with my BMX bike.
I have friends that just love being able to travel and spend time with their families because of BMX. I have met people that have traveled thousands of kilometers just to watch BMX racing. Heck, there’s a massive number of people that will wake up at all hours of the night to catch the live feed from the ABA grands to the Supercross rounds and the World Championships. I have spoken with volunteers who just love to maintain their local tracks and keep it safe for the “kids”. Like I said earlier I love BMX, especially BMX racing, I love what I get out of it, it’s a high like no other…yep everything about it. I know I’m not the only one that has found a certain Zen in BMX. Have you?
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